(sorry its AD i just havent logged in)
But your what, one out of many distributors. You know because your here - what about the rest?
I should point out to any audience that might be watching this that we're a retailer, not a distributor (the distributors sell to the retailers), just to clear up any possible misunderstandings
If a retailer is specialising in an area such as this I think it's their responsibility to keep up to date with the products they're intending to sell. Thats where we try to be different to the other "internet box-shifters", by being able to offer advice and support to our customers because we know the products we're selling.
Finding out as much as possible about those products means communications with the distributor and manufacturers. Some distributors are nothing more than box-pushers themselves, so to get the real info it often means speaking to the manufacturer. In communication with some product manufacturers it's been made pretty clear to me that they have no interest in helping to educate their retailers. Most don't have the mechanism in place to support retailers coming to them with questions about their games (such as release dates, when they'll hit the distributor, whether such and such a product will only be available direct from themselves, etc.), but my experiences with Mongoose have shown them to be pretty much the most open manufacturer out there - I'm not sure I know of any other manufacturer where one of the directors themselves happily sits and answers questions on their message boards.
Anyone poking around on our website will notice that our stock listing is pretty heavily Mongoose-orientated. We're building relationships with customers, and that's easiest to do when it's a product we understand ourselves. Getting the information we need in order to do that has been simpler with Mongoose than any other manufacturer. Something I've been trying to put in place for a little while now is a "if we don't understand it, we're not selling it" policy.
Lets take an example of a customer who buys a wargame starter set from us - I want us to be in a position where that customer can come back and ask for advice on what to purchase next in order to build their X,000 point army of whatever, which boxed sets offer best value for money to do so - not just in terms of amount of metal/plastic for their cash, but in real terms of which of those figures would actually be useful to them. That's the level of service I'd expect from an FLGS, and therefore the level of service I want to be able to provide as well.
And as someone has quite rightly pointed out its cheaper to buy two starter box sets and flog the second set of rules, card, terrain on ebay rather then buy the boxes individually.
But if it wasn't, then people would be complaining about how they're not getting a good deal on the starter set.